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Canberra Cabs to get real people answering phones?

By emd - 24 November 2006 5

ABC news online for ACT quotes John Hargreaves as saying that legislation may be passed to force Canberra Cabs to get humans taking bookings again.

Here’s the story.

An improvement on the current situation, but we’ll still have a monopoly taxi operator who have complete contempt for their customer base.

[ED – What’s the fun of being a tin-pot potentate if you can’t dictate behaviour rather than setting sound processes in place and stepping back?]

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5 Responses to
Canberra Cabs to get real people answering phones?
peeved 8:23 am 25 Nov 06

All lovely but still no guarantee of good service. My son (in a wheelchair)was groomsman at his sisters wedding on Saturday and the wheelchair cab he ordered the day before turned up an hour late. On Sunday we had a repeat performance when he was going home from the “relly bash”, again an hour delay. When I registered a complaint, I was informed that of 18 wheelchair cabs only 3 were on duty. If new licencing occurs, ensure that those who have wheelchair licences are committed to working when the need is greatest, weekends and public holidays – don’t forget, they get subsidies.
I watch people calling cabs continuosly, and the main problem with the system is that people aren’t rude enough. You have to speak sharp, single word responses to get a booking made successfully: Ready….Yes….Airport….No. Most people fall into the trap of talking to the computer like it’s a person, adding niceties like please and thank you and the computer doesn’t know those words.
Overhaul the whole damn system, especially those who run it!!!!

johnboy 11:37 am 24 Nov 06

apparently in Dublin they had similar problems a few years ago.

to solve them they did what big al suggests, massively reduce the cost of getting into the taxi business.

the clever bit was that they recompensed the existing taxi licensees for the slashed value of their license with a tax credit.

the first taxi to accurately report his income can get the credit, and as the story was told to me that is yet to happen.

Big Al 11:08 am 24 Nov 06

My understanding is that you can’t operate a taxi in Canberra without a taxi license. These are issued by the ACT Government – well not actually issued as such. The least full licenses to be made available were “auctioned” to the highest bidder. I think that they’re worth about $100-120k.

To be fairdinkum a new player would need to start with say 15-20 cars so start up cost for vehicles and licenses alone would probably be in the vicinity of $2-2.5 million – that’s assuming that the licenses would be made available. Assuming that the Government would auction the licenses (in the interests of fairness to the market) existing players could bid up the price of the licenses to the extent that a new entrant would be struggling to recover costs making it unattractive as an business investment.

Real reform would see legitimate regulatory barriers to market entry in place such as driver licensing, vehicle specification etc and then letting whoever meets the criteria and wants to try their hand have a go. Like that’s ever going to happen.

johnboy 11:03 am 24 Nov 06

my understanding is that there’s actual legislation.

RandomGit 10:53 am 24 Nov 06

What exactly is stopping someone from opening a competeing service? Is it hand in pockets, back alley deals or actual legislation?

What’s the details?

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